Safety

Report: Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are valuable tools when it comes to blind spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assist, but many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations. Blind spot-monitoring systems cannot accurately detect vehicles passing at high speeds, or bicycles and pedestrians, but 80 percent of drivers were unaware of these limitations, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash.

"When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths," said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems."

In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes, which is a five percent increase from 2015. ADAS technologies offer proven safety benefits when used properly, so it's important that automakers and others place a greater emphasis on education.

To improve safety on the road, AAA urges drivers to learn their vehicle technology's functions and limitations. Drivers should read up, see it in action and ask questions before leaving the car lot.

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